Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant

I first sat down to read Kant's Critique in March of 1994, and after about 60 pages, I realized that I was in way over my head. Kant defines his terms precisely and uses them just as precisely as he builds his arguments. Miss a definition and you're lost for good.

So, I started over with a pencil in hand and copied out every definition and paraphrased each argument in outline form so I could review as I went along. Periodically I sat down and transcribed my notes as a further review, making sure that I still understood what the heck I wrote and why it seemed important at the time.

It probably goes without saying that the entire work made quite an impression on me. What follows is a summary or outline, not an analysis, of the First Critique, although I did allow an occasional personal comment to slip in. The outline follows the Kemp Smith translation originally published in 1929 and the page numbers follow my personal copy (which makes them pretty useless since you can't borrow it) from the St. Martin's Press edition first published in 1965. For the most part where there is a divergence between the A and B versions I have just tried to figure out what he was trying to say and paraphrased. In those cases where it seemed he had changed his view I have summarized them separately and labelled them as such.

My total outline is 40 pages of tiny 10 point type and squeezed into half inch margins. This html version looks like it may extend to over 100. The order of the project is first to get the entire outline up, then to link terms to their definition. Maybe then I'll put together a table of contents and if I get really ambitious, an index.


John Clarke

On to the Introduction
Table of Contents

Kant fan # since 4/5/02